tv Focus on Europe PBS December 4, 2017 7:30pm-8:01pm PST
♪ michelle: hello and welcome to "fokus on europe." i'm michelle henery. glad you could join us. can climate change be stopped? finding the answer to that question is top of the agenda at the u.n. climate conference in bonn, here in germany. one of its goals is to prevent further global warming. take the arctic, for instance, where space is increasingly scarce for polar bears living there. sea ice is disappearing at an alarming rate, and worryingly, temperatures in the coldest regions are rising at a higher rate than in other parts of the world. last year, norway's svalbar archipelago registered an average temperature of close to zero degrees celsius. sounds pretty cold, especially if you're a soft southerner like me, right?
but that was almost seven degrees higher than normal. and scientists say it's due to climate change. now locals have to contend with a new danger -- avalanches. our reporter went to norway to find out why the arctic is heating up faster than the rest of the world. reporter: the svalbard archipelago is covered with ice, snow, and glaciers as far as the eye can see. at first glance there's no obvious sign of the drastic climatic changes taking place here. but the arctic is warming two to three times faster than the rest of the earth. the appropriately-named isfjorden -- or ice fjord -- west of the island of spitsbergen, no longer freezes over. now fishermen catch salmon and mackerel here in the winter. in the past they could only do that further south. kim holmen of the norwegian polar institute, says whatever
the causes, the current warming of the arctic is unprecedented. kim: we see quite a few results that point to the fact that it is unlikely that we can explain the entire warming of the last 30 years without invoking that it must be, to a large extent, man's change of the atmosphere. reporter: in longyearbyen, the main town in svalbard, climate change is also changing people's lives. as the permafrost thaws, the soil can no longer support the houses. the number of accidents from avalanches has increased dramatically. an international team of researchers led by meteorologist manfred wendisch from leipzig university is trying to find out why the arctic is warming so rapidly. every day they head to longyearbyen's tiny airport.
the two converted dc-3's waiting on the runway are polar research planes from the alfred wegener institute. on their flights, the scientists hope to solve one of the biggest riddles of arctic warming. manfred: there is global warming, but it's most intense here in the arctic. several factors play a role, and we think clouds are one of the main ones. and we hope to prove it here. reporter: how can clouds cause warming? put simply -- they create an insulating layer in the atmosphere that prevents the arctic from cooling down. so the scientists take to the sky to collect their data. regis: there's the laser here, between. and when the ice crystals go through, it takes an image of the shadow of the ice crystal, which helps us to have the size of the particles and its shape.
and we can also get the concentration of the ice crystals in the cloud. reporter: today they're heading 200 kilometers to the northeast. the team will be airborne for more than six hours. the arctic sea-ice has shrunk by half over the past 25 years due to rising temperatures. as the ice thaws, so-called melt ponds are formed, then the ice breaks up. the darker water in the ponds absorbs solar radiation more strongly than the light-colored ice, launching a fatal spiral of events. in 40 to 50 years, the north pole may be completely ice-free in the summer -- with enormous consequences for other parts of the world. on this trip, the researchers didn't encounter any large clouds, but they did collect some useful data. their analysis will take years -- years in which temperatures will continue to climb.
kim: many of the things we associate with svalbard are changing. and to that extent, it is detrimental to the svalbard we know. reporter: the mild weather is certainly detrimental to dog sledding. people in lonyearbyen worry that one day the dogs here will no longer pull sleds, but carts all year round. michelle: while norway is considered a leader in climate change policy, poland is actively opposing measures to combat global warming. the government is reluctant to give up its reliance on coal, and environmentalists are now scrambling to save a vast ancient forest there. considered the last remaining primeval forest in europe, it dates back thousands of years and is home to 12,000 species. but if state-sponsored logging continues at its current rate,
activists warn the woodland will be irrevocably damaged. reporter: on patrol in a primeval forest in poland. two environmental activists are inspecting the trees in bialowieza national park. augustyn mikos and his friend wojciech are looking at both healthy and diseased trees. augustyn: all this is natural forest growth. it's very old, more than 170 years. this forest wasn't really ever managed by humans. it has followed the rules of nature over the course of thousands of years. reporter: decaying trees are occupied by thousands of birds, insects, and other creatures. this is europe's last ancient forest and a unesco world heritage site. wojciech: this woodland is vitally important and invaluable. it is the only place i will be able to show my children what primeval forest looks like.
that's why i want to protect it. reporter: a little further on, there are deep furrows in the forest floor. huge harvesters were deployed here and a clearing created in the middle of the forest. augustyn: more than 100 hectares were cleared. the devastation is pretty well advanced, as you can see here. reporter: the forest authorities say the clear-cutting is necessary to combat a bark beetle infestation. logging quotas were tripled last year. there's some dispute about where exactly trees can be felled. a group of environmental advocates living in this house are dedicated to protecting the forest. for months they have been staging actions to thwart logging efforts. there have been some tense clashes. augustyn: activists sitting on the machines were often removed by force. it was pretty dangerous.
kinga: i tied myself to the frame of a harvester, and one of the guards climbed up and stood there for about an hour talking to us. there was less and less space, and i was afraid i'd slip off. they turned me over on my stomach. reporter: there's a steady stream of young people coming and going to help with the protests. they stay as long as they can. protecting the forest is their mission. anna: the forest is dying, and has been for a while. but there's so much logging that it can't recover. the politicians aren't thinking about the future. reporter: forest rangers say the trees are being cut down to protect the forest. otherwise the bark beetles will irreversibly damage the fir population. so the diseased trees must be removed. grzegorz: this area posed a danger to people visiting the forest because trees were falling over.
reporter: that's why trees along the path were cleared. the forester says the forest will renew itself. the logs are stacked at the side of the path. the forester denies that profit is the real motivation for the logging. grzegorz: we earn some money with it. we are state property and, sure, the state receives revenue -- but only small amounts. reporter: grzegorz bielecki says this interference protects the forest. the activists see things differently. they want to prevent all interference with nature, and they condemn the fact that 100-year-old trees are being felled. augustyn: this marking says the trees are over 100 years old. the european court of justice has ruled that it's illegal to cut down and remove firs like this.
reporter: opinion in the village of bialowieza is divided. some are for removing the trees. others say, leave the forest alone. >> it's okay to clear the forest. otherwise we have to get our wood from far away. it's better than letting it rot. >> why are they chopping down trees and destroying our ancient forest? i was born here, and i'm against it. reporter: nature conservationists, locals, and forest rangers -- each has their own idea about how best to serve the forest of bialowieza. the two environmental activists are shocked to see felled trees in europe's last primeval forest, and they will continue to fight to protect it. they believe this polish forest can contribute to fighting climate change.
michelle: the 2018 u.n. climate conference will be held in the heart of poland's coal mining industry, in the town of kattovitsay, in a move that has activists hoping the country will begin to transition away from fossil fuels. it was two years ago on a november evening in paris that 130 people lost their lives and hundreds more were wounded in series of coordinated terrorist attacks. many of the survivors are still struggling to recover from the trauma. we talked to one who says that despite increased police presence and a solid sense of community, life will never be the same again. reporter: this is kader's flower shop. the proprietor's friendly manner has made him a favorite in the neighborhood. kader: here's a little present for you. reporter: born in algeria, kader has had this flower shop in paris for almost 20 years . but two years ago, his life changed abruptly.
kader: two people died right here by this tree. a man from algeria, and a young american woman. she was only 20, or 22 years old. reporter: that was on november 13, 2015. shortly before the attack on the bataclan concert hall, terrorists fired automatic weapons at the restaurants right next to kader's shop. five people died and more than a dozen were severely wounded. kader himself was unharmed, but only by chance. that day, he'd closed his shop a few minutes earlier than usual. two days later, panic broke out again. it appeared as though there was another terrorist attack. people took refuge in the flower shop. kader and his brother aissa protected their neighbors. aissa: there are plenty of police outside. we're safe in here. there's no need to be afraid.
reporter: it turned out to be a false alarm. but the two brothers weren't able to get over the incidents. aissa developed cancer and died in the spring of 2017. kader suffers from anxiety attacks and often feels drained. sometimes he closes his shop for days at a time. kader: i'm not doing well at the moment. nothing's been the same for me since the attacks, and now my brother has died, too. everything feels different inside of me. people can't tell -- it doesn't show on the outside -- but i don't know how this can continue. reporter: kader says he's traumatized by the attacks. hundreds of parisians feel the same way. but the state has only provided help to people who were directly threatened by the terrorists. the director of the compensation fund admits that not all victims are provided adequate assistance. julien: we weren't prepared for
such severe terrorist attacks. that posed a tremendous challenge to the state. the compensation fund was not equipped to care for such a large number of victims. and the formalities were likely too complicated for those involved. reporter: too complicated, and too bureaucratic. trauma specialist carole damiani says victims of terrorist attacks should be given psychological support immediately. carole: trauma is experienced not only by those directly affected, but also by people who arrive at the scene once the danger is over, like rescue teams. and today we know that the sooner people receive psychological help, the better their chances of overcoming the trauma to a degree. the later it's dealt with, the more difficult it is. reporter: a few days ago, someone in the neighborhood said
she saw police officers arresting a man right in front of kader's shop. the man had a kalashnikov in his trunk. beatrice: it was over there, at the place across the street. i was standing right there. and of course it made me think of the terrorist attacks. luckily, the police responded quickly, otherwise there might have been another massacre here. reporter: kader and his neighbors are still plagued by a feeling of trepidation. they can't shake it. kader: it's only gotten worse as time passes. i've never been to a psychologist in my life. but i think i really need help. reporter: most parisians have tried to carry on with their lives as best they can -- but is that possible? many would have been grateful
for more support from the state. michelle: berlin is popular with tourists and locals alike for its round-the-clock club scene, museums, and laid-back attitude. but it may be falling into the grip of an extensive criminal network. large arab families are said to be active in drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution, and theft. and because of their numbers, power, and influence -- to operate within the city without fear. our reporter met with an insider who showed us another side of berlin. reporter: this is berlin's neukolln district -- home to some of the city's large arab families. hassan berjawi is a member of one of the notorious clans. originally from lebanon, the 25-year-old former boxer collects welfare. he didn't finish school. police statistics say a
disproportionate number of berlin's criminals are of arab descent. hassan: they all want easy money. they want to get rich quick. they want to drive a ferrari. with many, the problem is that they just weren't good in school and didn't get very good grades. and then you start messing around, because you can't find a job. she's a berjawi. that's my cousin. that's fatma. she's dangerous. she's the sister of my fiance. reporter: hassan calls the man in the black mercedes "don," after don corleone, the infamous mafia boss from the movie "the godfather." the 38-year-old, whose real name
is mohamed, says he delivers mail. hassan is closely related to him -- in two ways. hassan: he's my cousin. his father is my father's brother. and he's also my sister's husband -- in other words, my brother-in-law. he's my older cousin, and he's also married to my sister. reporter: are there reasons why people like to marry within the family? what's the reason for doing that? why do people marry within the family? hassan: so that the family grows. we aren't 1000 people by chance. it's part of our tradition. reporter: aside from delivering mail, mohamed engages in other business activities. can i ask you something? mohamed: yeah. reporter: nice car. mohamed: thanks. reporter: how do you afford it? mohamed: it belongs to a friend. reporter: is that always the case? mohamed: yeah, that's how it is. you finance it through your
connections. reporter: and that means? mohamed: that means you do business, and that's how you cover the cost of things. reporter: berlin's police department has a unit dedicated to uncovering the dubious dealings of arab clans. but their work is far from easy. dirk: these families have developed a certain reputation in berlin. sometimes it's enough just to mention their name in some parts of town to convey a certain power. that's done quite deliberately. also, in connection with crimes. reporter: it was one of the most spectacular heists in recent years -- on december 20, 2014, a car pulled up to kadewe, berlin's high-end department store. then, at 10:24, five men stormed through a side entrance. they went straight for luxury watches by swiss watchmakers
rolex and chopard. one of the men was armed with a machete, which he used to intimidate customers and security staff. tear gas was sprayed into the air. the group made off with 15 watches and fives pieces of jewelry, with a total value of over 800,000 euros. in november 2015, the first of the so-called kadewe trials got underway. even before it started, clan members tried silencing the witnesses. sjors: sometimes it's enough to mention one of these families to silence witnesses. we know of at least two cases where the injured party had difficulty finding a lawyer because the lawyers were too afraid to represent them. reporter: having an 800 or 1000-member-strong family can be useful. the berjawi clan has made a name for itself in the car trade. and when there's trouble with the competition, they send out a few guys to settle the matter. hassan: you have to help anyone who's a family member.
that can have negative consequences. i was hit with a machete once. you might get a call when you're home or at work, and you have to get up and go. it's important to be there for family, but i don't think anyone wants to get knifed or shot. reporter: nevertheless, hassan berjawi's loyalty is reserved for his clan. and that's the way it will stay. he'll have even more incentive now as husband to his cousin. michelle: as we've seen earlier in the show, climate change is having devastating consequences. but britain is apparently reaping one of the rare benefits. the weather in england is becoming more favorable to growing grapes. wine producers in britain are thriving, and vineyard acreage has doubled over the last ten years -- and it continues to grow.
but the french toast -- votre sante -- doesn't sound quite the same in english. reporter: these grapes could give french winemakers a headache. ben: on this particular part of the chardonnay at the back there, we can get some quite tropical, ripe, almost like stone fruit flavors coming through. reporter: tropical? in this kind of weather? here in east sussex in southeastern england, the organic grapes take more time to ripen, and they are harvested later than in most of continental europe. kristin: we don't have a lot of sun, we don't have a lot of heat. so it's kind of growing a lovely, delicious product, considering those circumstances. we are here in october, and we are still picking grapes. reporter: kristin syltevik used
to work as a p.r. adviser. now she's a winegrower -- in part thanks to climate change. it does rain a lot here in east sussex, but temperatures are rising steadily, making conditions ideal for the british sparkling wine, which could give france's champagne region some competition. kristin: champagne used to be a relatively marginal climate. it was colder, for growing grapes and making wine. now it's warmer there. i had a chap here who visited the vineyard, from champagne. and he was from a champagne-making family. and he said that the climate in the u.k. is similar to when he grew up in champagne 40 years ago. reporter: grower ben smith is confident that the english grapes can take on french champagne. ben: there are a lot of tastings out there, blind tastings, pitching the best english sparkling wines against champagnes, in a blind tasting, so nobody can see the label.
and english wines have come out and competed with the best, yeah. reporter: does this mean that britain might one day be self-sufficient in wine production, and independent of the rest of europe? an unofficial taste-test shows that this is no understatement. as least when it comes to bubbly, britain can free itself from the continent. >> if brexit does happen, we have our own champagne, so we're not too worried. >> compared with germany and france and italy, of course we don't produce anywhere near the quantity. but it's nice to know that we can produce some really tasty stuff. reporter: kristin and ben are pleased with this year's harvest. the winegrowers have big plans for the upcoming years -- nothing less than invading the native country of champagne. kristin: i would love to sell some wine to france. i haven't actually had any inquiries.
i've had lots on enquiries from the countries around france, bordering france. so hopefully one day you will find me in a restaurant in paris. that would be great, wouldn't it? reporter: but first, she'll have to boost production. kristin has already bought some more land to further her winegrowing ambitions. michelle: the champagne producer taitinger has now even bought land in the u.k. that's it for today. but if you'd like to find out more about any of today's [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]